Should I Get a COVID Test if I'm Vaccinated? Where to Go and How to Book Your Appointment
Story by Sofia James
As COVID cases continue to climb among the fully vaccinated (particularly community transmission), the CDC has released new guidelines to help curb the spread — including updated mask and testing recommendations.
New guidance recommends that fully vaccinated individuals get tested for COVID within 3-5 days after any known exposure, even if they aren’t symptomatic. The CDC also says those who have been exposed should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure, or until they receive a negative test result.
While L.A. County health officials have mandated mask wearing indoors for all people, regardless of vaccine status, they still have not updated testing guidance. County guidance says that those who are fully vaccinated and have a known COVID exposure, but are not exhibiting symptoms, don’t need to get a test.
Even though breakthrough cases for fully vaccinated people remain uncommon, it still might be a good idea to get a test if you know you have been exposed or are experiencing any symptoms.
Booking (Or Not) A COVID Test
While appointments aren’t necessary at L.A. County or City of L.A. testing sites, you can still schedule one by visiting the health department website or calling 211 to reduce your waiting time.
Here are some sites to get tested without an appointment and their hours. (If you want to make an appointment, though, they are linked with each location.)
If You Live In L.A.
- L.A. Union Station: Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.
- Edendale Library — Echo Park: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.
- The Forum Kiosk in Inglewood: Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.
- Angeles Community Health Center — Gardena: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
- East L.A. College: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Doctor Now — Robertson Blvd: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
- South Gate Park Kiosk: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. (If you are a South Gate resident, the city offers free transportation to the testing center!)
- Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in South L.A.: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
If You Live In The San Fernando Valley
- San Fernando Park: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Sepulveda Recreation Center in Panorama City: Tuesday-Saturday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Valley Urgent Care in Northridge: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
If You Live In The San Gabriel Valley
- San Gabriel Valley Airport: Monday-Saturday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Memorial Park North Recreation Center: Monday-Wednesday 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.- 4p.m.
- Whittier Narrows — The Meadows Area: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Pomona Fairplex Gate 17: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
If You Live In Long Beach
- Long Beach City College — Pacific Coast Campus: Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
- Cabrillo High School: Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
- Harbor District (2100 W. Anaheim St., 90802): Monday - Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- Houghton Park: Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Tests are free for everyone, regardless of immigration status or whether you have health insurance.
While ID isn’t required, county officials recommend bringing some sort of personal identification to your test, just to ensure results are matched to the correct person. Your identity is protected by federal law and can’t be used for any purpose other than giving test results.
Be warned, though, testing availability is much more limited on weekends, so it's important to check in beforehand and make sure your local testing site is open.